The CBI on Friday criticised the anti-graft Lokpal bill passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011, saying its provisions may “seriously compromise” the investigating agency’s autonomy in probing cases.
In its presentation before the Rajya Sabha Select Committee examining the bill, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) stated that the agitation for the Lokpal bill last year was to provide greater autonomy for the CBI, but the bill didn’t reflect it.
“As far as the CBI is concerned, the focal point of the Lokpal agitation has not materialised. On the contrary, the agency’s autonomy of investigation has been seriously compromised,” the agency stated in its written submission to the panel.
The CBI argued that multiplicity of authorities it has to report to has “greatly hampered” its functional and administrative autonomy and thereby its effectiveness.
“The existing reporting system shows that the CBI has to report to the Central Vigilance Commission, Department of Personnel and Training, law ministry and the home ministry. With the creation of the Lokpal, it will have to report to one more authority,” the CBI note stated.
“The dependence of CBI on the government in financial and administrative matters is both causative and reinforcing factor for the public perception that CBI can be influenced by the government… Lokpal bill in its present form does not deal with this issue at all,” CBI director AP Singh informed the parliamentary panel.
The CBI has proposed creation of a separate Demand for Grant for it from the Consolidated Fund of India. It stated that the agency’s chief should be the “grant controlling authority and chief accounting authority” for its financial grant.
It also said the CBI director should have “full authority” in appointment, extension and curtailment of tenure of officers upto the DIG rank in the agency.